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Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta Malta / Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival
Re-Visions | Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe | Nov. 2005

Re-Visions | Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe | Nov. 2005

Literature Across Frontiers Malta Symposium

3-6 November 2005 ▪ St. James Cavalier, Valletta

Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers

Eighteen months after ten new members joined the European Union, it is time to assess the state of literary exchange in the context of wider cultural cooperation in Europe and to re-assert the central role of intercultural understanding in the process of European integration.

Building on past conferences and gatherings organised by Literature Across Frontiers, the symposium will bring together writers, translators, literary editors, literary event organisers and representatives of national and international organisations from around Europe to meet their Maltese colleagues and discuss the following topics:

  • policies, practices and structures that encourage and enable circulation of  literary works and mobility of writers
  • representation of small-language literatures on the international scene and obstacles to their greater dissemination
  • promotion of literature and the work of literature and translation centres
  • networking, exchange and cooperation – exemplary projects
  • vehicles for publishing literature in translation
  • public support for literary exchange and translation (including EU)
  • possible future cooperations and exchanges

There will also be a programme of readings by visiting and local writers.

The symposium will be attended by participants from 16 European countries.

Re-Visions – Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe, is being organised by Literature Across Frontiers and Inizjamed with support from the Culture 2000 Programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment (Malta), The British Council, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Malta), Casa Rocca Piccola, Farsons Foundation, and the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.

This event is also being supported by the following LAF partner organisations: Books from Lithuania, Centre for Slovenian Literature, FILI – Finnish Literature Information Centre, Fund for the Promotion of Icelandic Literature, Latvian Literature Centre, NORLA – Norwegian Literature Abroad, Polish Book Institute, Ramon Llull Institute and Welsh Literature Abroad. The organizers would also like to thank the Culture Department of the Basque Government, Estonian Culture Capital Foundation, International Desk of the Arts Council of Ireland and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

Literature Across Frontiers is a programme of literary exchange and policy debate operating through partnership with European organisations engaged in the international promotion of literature and support for literary translation. Its main aim is to promote literatures written in the less widely-used languages of Europe and encourage their translation. It is funded by Culture 2000 for a second three-year period (2005-08).

“Literature in translation is part of a multimillion publishing industry, yet it often cannot exist without subsidy and concentrated promotional effort on the part of non-commercial cultural organisations. Instead of diversity, globalisation has paradoxically brought greater homogeneity to the international book market, and programmes such as Literature Across Frontiers can help counter this trend,” says Alexandra Büchler, Director of the LAF programme.


Jan Balabán was born in 1961 in Sumperk, Czechoslovakia, and has lived in Ostrava since his childhood. Prose writer, journalist and translator, he holds a degree in Czech and English from the University of Olomouc and his published translations include works by H. P. Lovecraft and Terry Eagleton. Together with the poet Petr Hruska, he publishes the literary magazine Obracena strana mesice [The dark side of the moon] ( He has published two novels and four collections of short stories, including Středověk (The Middle Ages, 1995), Boží lano (God’s Rope,1998), Prázdniny (Holidays, 1998) and Možná, že odcházíme (Maybe We‘re Leaving, 2004), and two novels, Černý beran (The Black Ram, 2000) and Kudy šel anděl (The Way the Angel Went, 2003.)


Photo: Borut Kranjc

Andrej Blatnik was born in 1963 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he studied Comparative Literature and Sociology of Culture, and received his Masters in American Literature and PhD in Communication Studies. His career includes playing bass guitar in a punk band, being a freelance writer and publishing editor, teaching creative writing and being on the editorial board of the Literatura monthly and board member of the Center for Slovenian Literature. He has published two novels, Plamenice in solze (Torches and Tears, 1987) and Tao ljubezni (Tao of Love, 1996), and four collections of short stories; among them Menjave kož(Skinswaps, 1990) and Zakon želje (Law of Desire, 2000) were published in eight languages, including the English edition of Skinswaps in 1998. In addition to this, he is the author of three collections of critical essays, including essays on literature in the digital age Neonski pečati (Neon Seals, 2005). He has also  translated several books from English, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles among them. More on


Alexandra Büchler was born in Prague, and educated there, in Thessaloniki and Melbourne. She has lived in Great Britain since 1989. Cultural manager, literary translator and editor, she is Director of Literature Across Frontiers and has translated over twenty books of fiction, poetry, theatre plays and texts on modern art and architecture from English, Czech and Greek, and edited six anthologies of contemporary Czech, Australian, Scottish and Greek short fiction, including This Side of Reality: Modern Czech Writing, 1996, Allskin and Other Tales by Contemporary Czech Women, 1998Her most recent publication is A Fine Line: New Poetry from Central and Eastern Europe, 2004, which she co-edited. Among the many authors whose work she has translated are J. M. Coetzee, David Malouf, Jean Rhys, Janice Galloway and Rhea Galanaki.


Krzysztof Czyzewski (1958) is a poet, essayist, translator, editor and organiser of cross-border literary projects.  Initially, he was involved in alternative theatre, establishing the Gardzienice Theatre in 1977 and later the Arka Theatre in the 1980s. Together with Rafal Grupinski, he was the founder of the leading Polish cultural periodical Czas Kultury and in 1993 became the editor-in-chief of Krasnogruda magazine of literature and arts. In 1990 he was one of the initiators of the “Borderland” Foundation and subsequently founded the International Center of Borderland of Cultures, Arts, and Nations, located in a small multicultural town Sejny, close to the Lithuanian border, which has undertaken a number of European cultural projects, including the international literary group ‘flying Cafe Europa’ gathering writers and artists from different cities, such as Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Bucharest, Cracow, Gdansk, Vilnius and Lviv. He received a number of awards for his contribution to international arts and culture.


Gwen Davies is the Editor of Parthian, a small independent English-language publisher based in Ceredigion, west Wales. She translated from the Welsh, in collaboration with author Robin Llywelyn, White Star (Seren Wen ar Gefndir Gwyn), published by Parthian. She has spent most of her career in publishing, having worked for the cultural magazine Planet the Welsh Internationalist, Welsh-language children’s publisher Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion and as Literature Officer for the Arts Council of Wales. Parthian was established in 1993 by writer Richard Lewis Davies, author of Work, Sex and Rugby, which remains the press’ bestseller at 7,000 copies. Parthian’s editorial policy is to favour writers from Wales; to support translations from Welsh-language fiction; to nurture and develop new and emerging writers; to reflect primarily contemporary experience; to broaden our horizons through bringing in selected foreign titles, including translation; to champion fictional voices that may be marginal, vulnerable or compromised. Visit Parthian


Marta Dziluma has been Director of the Latvian Literature Centre since its inception in 2003. She has a background in literary theory and is currently working on the PhD. Prior to taking up her post at the Latvian Literature Centre she worked as cultural journalist and editor in the media, both in newspapers and magazines, as well as in television. The Latvian Literature Centre is a public organisation established to ensure international recognition of and access to Latvian Fiction, poetry, plays and children’s literature. It facilitates contact Latvian authors, publishers and translators, funds translation of Latvian literature and takes part in international events, such as book fairs. It is one of the main partners in the Literature Across Frontiers programme.


Marika Grech (Malta 1979) works at the Malta Cultural Contact Point (CCP) for the EU Culture 2000 Programme. The CCP forms part of the EU Affairs and Policy Development Directorate within the Ministry for Tourism and Culture. Marika graduated in Theatre Studies from the University of Malta. She worked for a couple of years (2002-2004) at the Ministry for Gozo and during this time was appointed a member of the Gozo Culture Council and the Culture Organising Committee. She has also worked on Cultural Animation with children at St James Cavalier, Centre for Creativity.


Maria Grech Ganado (Malta, 1943) studied at the Universities of Malta, Cambridge (Girton College) and Heidelberg. She was the first Maltese woman to be appointed a full-time Lecturer (in the English Department) at the University of Malta in 1971. She has published three collections of Maltese poetry, the prize-winning Iżda Mhux Biss(1999), Skond Eva (2001) and Fil-Ħofra Bejn Spallejha (2005). Some of this work has appeared in translation in French and Italian books and journals – SoufflesLe Jardin d’EssaiKaleidoscopeDa Qui and Mediterraneo Casa Comune. A number of Maria’s English poems have been published by foreign small press magazines, including Envoi and Orbis in the UK, Imago in Australia, and Cadences and Focus in Cyprus. In 2003, she published her first collection of English poems, Ribcage, followed by Cracked Canvas (2005). More on

Photo: Hubert Cini

Adrian Grima (Malta 1968) is a lecturer in Maltese Literature at the Junior College and Faculty of Arts of the University of Malta. He has read papers on Maltese literature and the Mediterranean in Europe, the US and the Caribbean. In 1999, he published It-Trumbettier, a prize-winning book of poetry in Maltese with English translations. He has read his poetry in various countries and some of his poems have appeared in anthologies in Italy, Germany, Cyprus, The Netherlands, Israel, Austria, France, and Corsica. Adrian Grima is the coordinator of Inizjamed, which he co-founded in 1998, the Maltese correspondent of the Babelmed website about culture in the Mediterranean region, and Head of the Technical Committee for Literature within the National Council for the Maltese Language. He is the editor of collections of contemporary Maltese literature and has published a short study on the Maltese national poet and cultural diversity. His book Inside Mediterranean Malta will be published shortly.


Chris Gruppetta (Malta) is Director of Publishing at Merlin Library Ltd, a company specialising in publishing children’s books in Maltese as well as distributing English-language books in Malta. He graduated as a lawyer from the University of Malta in 1997 after completing a
dissertation on the legal parameters of stage and film censorship in Malta, and is currently reading for a Masters in Publishing Studies in Aberdeen. He has worked in various roles within the bookselling and
bookpublishing industry, including running a leading bookshop and overseeing purchasing and bookshop management. He is currently responsible for coordinating new publishing projects, both local and in collaboration with foreign publishers, and he regularly works in collaboration with the publishing and editorial departments of Penguin Books, Usborne Publishing, HarperCollinsPublishers and other UK-based publishers on coedition publications destined for the Maltese market.


Laura Hird was born in 1966 in Edinburgh where she still lives.  She studied Contemporary Writing at Middlesex Polytechnic. In 1997 she was awarded a Scottish Arts Council Writer’s Bursary to allow her to write full-time. She is the author of Nail and Other Stories (1997) and Born Free (1999), a novel set in Edinburgh, where she lives. Her short stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies internationally and her new collection of short stories is due to be published by Canongate Books in May 2005. She runs and edits her own loosely arts-related website on which she seeks out and publishes new poetry, short stories, reviews, interviews etc. She was born and lives in Edinburgh. Read Re-Visions interview. More on


Tristan Hughes was born in Atikokan, Canada, and brought up in Llangoed, Ynys Mon, north Wales, where he currently lives. He was educated in York, Cambridge and Edinburgh and studied Pacific Literature. He is a winner of the Rhys Davies Story Competition. His first book of interlinked short stories, The Tower, was described by The Independent as “pastoral, flinty and fierce”. His novel, Send My Cold Bones Home will be published by Parthian in May 2006. He is working on a third book of fiction, about a pub quiz master. This, like all his fiction, is set on Ynys Mon. His work has developed a reputation for combining rural settings, evocative landscape, deep history and themes of haunting absences. The Tower will appear shortly in Czech from Volvox Globator.


Snjezana Husic (Zagreb 1969) works as researcher and teacher of Italian Literature at University of Zagreb, Department of Italian Studies. She has been involved in organization of Festival of the European Short Story (FESS) as a member of its Editorial Board and coordinator of its Italian Translation Workshop since the very start of the project, in 2002. Together with Tatjana Perusko, she co-edited Animalies: Anthology of the Contemporary Italian Short Story (Animalije, Zagreb 2001), within the FESS’s publishing project Anthologies of the European Short Story. Husic has published a number of translations from Italian and English, and has a long working experience in the Croatian and Italian publishing industry as editor, contributor, copy writer and copy editor.


Nora Ikstena was born in 1969 and belongs to a strong generation of Latvian female prose writers. Her first book, Pārnākšana (The Homecoming), 1992 is a literary and historical exploration of the life of Latvian writer and diplomat Anna Rumane-Kenina, while Brīnumainā kārtā (But then, Miraculously…), 1999, is a biography of the Latvian emigré Brunis Rubess. She has published three collections of short stories, Nieki un Izprecias (Trifles and pleasures, 1995), Maldīgas romances (Misleading romances, 1997), and Dzīves Stāsti (Life Stories, 2004), and two novels Dzīves sviēnešana(A Celebration of Life, 1998) and Jaunavas mācība (The Education of the Virgin, 2001). Her stories have been published in Finnish, German, Russian, Slovenian, French, Swedish, and English translation. She was secretary of the Latvian PEN and is on the board of the Latvian Literature Centre. She works as editor at the literary magazine Kargos and writes columns for the Latvian daily Diena. Ikstena lives outside Riga.


Éva Karádi was born in Budapest 1946, and holds a PhD in Philosophy. She teaches philosophy at the Eotvos University, Budapest. She is the Editor-in-chief of the Hungarian edition of the European cultural journal Lettre Internationale and chair of the Hungarian National Committee of the European Cultural Foundation. Her academic publications in English and German are mainly in the field of history of ideas on the Hungarian and German philosophy of culture in the first decades of the 20th century, for example “Lukacs and Bloch in Max Weber’s Heidelberg” in the volume Max Weber and his Contemporaries (1984). She has translated over 100 essays and articles by contemporary European writers and thinkers  from German and English for Magyar Lettre Internationale between 1995 and 2005.


Photo: Peeter Langovits

Jan Kaus (1971) is an essayist, literary critic, prose writer, poet and translator from Finnish. He has been the chairman of the Estonian Writers’ Union since 2004. He made his début with the collection of short stories Üle ja ümber (Above and Around, 2000) noted for its stylistic experimentation. where various excursions into different styles were brought together. The autobiographical Maailm ja mőni (The World and a Few, 2001) reflects his experiences of a newly independent Estonia, while the short stories in his collection Őndsate tund (The Hour of the Blessed, 2003) offer a satirical post-modern perspective on the new Estonian reality in mix of literary genres. His essays have been collected in Läbi Minotauruse (Through the Minotaur, 2003) and his latest collection of poetry Aeg on vaha (Time is Honey) was published in 2005. His works have been translated into Finnish, Swedish, German, Norwegian and Russian. Jan Kaus lives in Tallinn.More information on


Ján Litvák (Slovakia) was born in Bratislava in 1965. A freelance writer and editor, he has worked for the Slovak Literature Information Centre and for a number of literary magazines Kultúrny život (Cultural Life), Literárny týždenník (LiteraryWeekly), Dotyky (Touches) and the daily SME, and, in lieu of his military service as a volunteer for the Franciscan monthlySerafínsky svet (The World of  Seraphim). He regularly contributes book reviews to the arts programme of the Slovak radio and journals Romboid and Fragment and has published translations of poems by William Blake, Rabindranath Tagore, Vladimir Chlebnikov and Arthur Rimbaud in literary journals. He has formed the literary group „Barbarská generácia“ (Barbarian Generation) together with Robert Bielik and two other Slovak poets – Andy Turan and Kamil Zbruž and with Robert Bielik he compiled an antology of Slovak spiritual poetry Stratená v ľaliách (Lost in Lilies). Ján Litvák has published short stories Samoreč (Self-speech, 1992), a book of poems Kráľ kalichov (The King of Calixes, 1998) and reports from India Gadžasan (1999). His latest, published in 2005, are the limited edition collection Vtáctvo nebeské (Birds of Heaven) and a book inspired by his travels in India, called Živorodka. Lovkyňa ľudí. (Vivipara. The Huntress of Human Beings). Apart from his literary work he is engaged in the cultivation of organic vegetables and seeds of old arable crops.


Ġorġ Mallia (Malta 1957) is a lecturer in Communications at the University of Malta, specializing in print, presentation media, graphic design, instructional media and transfer of learning. He has a B.A.(Hons) in English Literature and an M.A. in Communications both from the University of Malta, and a Ph.D in Instructional Technology from the University of Sheffield, UK. He is a published cartoonist, with a regular comic strip in Malta’s leading Sunday paper. He has also written and illustrated eight books for children (foremost among them the Pullu series for very young readers) and co-edits the island’s best known magazine for schoolchildren, Sagħtar. He has also published collections of short stories, among them Żagħżugħ bla Isem (1985), a set of stream of consciousness narratives, and Ktieb ix-Xwejjaħ (1987), a fantasy. He has published extensively in his academic area of specialization, and participated in conferences in, among others, Greece, the UK, Denmark, Spain, and Portugal, and has lectured in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and other countries. He is a book reviewer and has produced for radio and television. He is at present the chairman of the National Book Council of Malta. Ġorġ Mallia’s site


Mike McCormack was born in 1965 in London but grew up in Sligo, in the west of Ireland. In 1990 he graduated from Galway University, earning a degree in English Literature and Philosophy. His first book of short stories Getting It In The Head (1996) won the prestigious Rooney Literary Award and was elected the New York Times Book of the Year. His first novel Crowe’s Requiem came out in 1998, and his second, Notes from a Coma, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2005. Mike McCormack is a board member of Cúirt International Festival of Literature and writer in residence at Galway University where he teaches an M.A. course in creative writing.


Immanuel Mifsud (Malta 1967) lectures at the University of Malta Junior College. He published four poetry collections, including two in 2005: Confidential Reports (Cork: Southword Editions, translated into English by Adrian Grima and Maurice Riordan) and KM (Malta: KKM, a bilingual edition with English translations by Maria Grech Ganado). He has written five collections of short stories including L-Istejjer Strambi ta’ Sara Sue Sammut (Sara Sue Sammut’s Strange Stories), which won the National literary award for 2002, and Kimika (Chemistry, 2005). Mifsud has also published a collection of short stories for children. Some of his work has been translated into English, French, Slovak, Czech, German, Catalan and Italian. Immanuel Mifsud is co-editor of Tabellina, a bilingual (Maltese/English) online journal of critical thought.


kuva: Heini Lehväslaiho

Tuomas Nevanlinna was born in 1960. Finnish essayist, translator, columnist of the Helsingin Sanomat‘s weekly supplement and director of Kriittinen korkeakoulu, an independent institute for philosophy and arts. He has written a novel with Kari Kontio and translated into Finnish books by Lewis Carroll, Wendy Cope, Roald Dahl, Derek Walcott, and others. His collection of essays Hyväkuntoisena taivaaseen (Shipshape to heaven) came out in 1999. In collaboration with Jukka Relander he edited a collection of essays, Espoo – totuus Suomesta (Espoo – the truth about Finland, 2000), which is about Espoo, the neighbouring city of Helsinki, as the secret model for globalisation. He lives in Helsinki.


Mari Jose Olaziregi (Donostia, Spain) is a Lecturer at the University of the Basque Country (Department of Linguistics and Basque Studies, Faculty of Philology, Geography and History). She graduated in Basque Philology and received her doctorate in Basque Literature; her dissertation was on the work of Bernardo Atxaga. She also completed an MA in Reading Promotion Habits at the Ramon Llull University in Barcelona. She is the former President of the Basque Branch of Spanish IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) and has now been elected to serve as an Executive Committee member of IBBY for 2004-06. In 1997, she was awarded the IX Becerro de Bengoa Prize for her essay “Bernardo Atxagaren irakurlea” (Bernardo Atxaga’s Reader). She has written seven books, edited four, and published more than 60 articles for journals such as: Cuadaernos de Literatura infantil y juvenilBookbirdRevue des livres pour les enfants and Nous voulons lire! Since 2000, she has been a member of the Royal Academy of the Basque Language.


Rubén Palma (Denmark) was forced to leave his native Chile after the Pinochet coup d’etat in 1973 and went into exile in Denmark. Palma frequently participates in debates and congresses in Denmark and abroad. He has published a diversity of essays, featured articles, tales and poems in newspapers, magazines and anthologies. About 2300 of his books can be found in Danish public libraries. His literary work has entitled him to a number of foundation grants. In 2001 he wrote The Trail We Leave, a collection of stories in Danish (translated into English Alexander Taylor) to rave reviews in major Danish papers. No one has captured the impact of culture shock in quite so vivid a fashion with such compelling characters or with such a range of tone. Palma is equally at home in hard-hitting, unsentimental drama and in the comic and satirical. The Trail We Leave won the short story section in the Book of the Year Award for 2004 in Foreword


Misia Sert (Catalonia) from the Institut Ramon Llul.


Sara Penrhyn Jones (Wales)


Kornelijus Platelis (b. 1951 in Šiauliai) is a poet, translator and essayist. He trained as an engineer and worked in the Soviet army and in construction organizations. He was a vice minister of culture and education in 1991-1993 and a deputy to the mayor of Druskininkai town afterwards. In 1996-1998 Platelis headed the “Vaga” Publishers. In 1998-2000 he was minister of education and science. Since February 2000 Kornelijus Platelis is senior editor of the cultural weekly “Literatūra ir menas”. He is a member of the Lithuanian Writers’ Union and the Lithuanian PEN Center; he also chairs the board of the annual poetry event “Autumn of Poetry in Druskininkai”. His first poetry book Words and Days was published in 1980, his other published work includes several poetry books, a collection of essays and a commentary for The Old Testament. He has translated many works by foreign authors. His work has been translated into 18 languages. In 1985 Kornelijus Platelis won the Jatvingian Award for the poem A Prayer by the Jatvingian Troops Galloping into Contact with the Enemy. In the “Spring of Poetry” of 1996, the annual poetry event, he won the title of laureate for his book Orations to the River. He lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. Read poems by Kornelijus Platelis

Photo: Nils Vik

Stig Saeterbakken, born in 1966, in Lillehammer, Norway, is a prose writer, translator and essayist. He was the editor of the Scandinavian literary periodical Marginal in the second half of the 1990s. His literary debut, at the age of eighteen, was a collection of poems called Floating umbrellas, his second was The sword became a child, 1986. He is the author of six novels, including The new testament, 1993, a novel whose subject – the post-war democratic Europe’s use of Adolf Hitler and nazism as symbols of ultimate evil  – whipped up a storm of controversy.  The three novels that followed are referred to as the S-trilogy: Siamese, 1997, Self-control, 1998, and Sauermugg, 1999. His latest novel is Capital, 2005. Saeterbakken’s essays on literature, film and visual arts have been collected in Aestethic bliss, 1994, followed by The Evil Eye, 2001, which includes essays on writers such as Beckett, Faulkner, Strindberg, Handke, Ján Ondrus and Emmanuel Bove, as well as a study called “Hitler – a metaphor from Germany”, and the book’s main essay “Literature and ethics”.  Saeterbakken lives in Lillehammer. Visit Stig’s website


Gudrun Sigfusdottir (Guðrún Sigfúsdóttir, Iceland) is  the main editor of fiction at JPV Publishers ( ). She has been working in the publishing business since 1974 and has participated in Book Fairs in Europe and United States for years. JPV is one of the most prominent  publishing company in Iceland, with authors like Guðbergur Bergsson, Vigdís Grimsdóttir, Ólafur Gunnarsson, Sigurður Pálsson, Sigurbjörg Thrastardóttir, Halldór Guðmundsson and Svava Jakobsdóttir, and foreign authors only to name a few: Milan Kundera, Paulo Coelho and Khaled Hosseini. At the Re-Visions symposium she will speak about the publishing of Icelandic and other writers in translation, working, that is, in a tiny market much like that of Malta in size


Stephanos Stephanides was horn in Trikorno in northeast Cyprus in October 1949. He writes in English but other languages reverberate in his writing. As well as poet, he is a literary and cultural critic, ethnographer, translator, all with a commitment to and interest in cultural translatability and memory. Years in Guyana (South America) in the 1980s had a profound impact on his life and work, especially his close friendship with communities of descendants of Indian indentured labourers in villages and sugar plantations. Their cultural expression and grassroots spiritualism inspired work including poetry for which he was awarded first prize in the 1988 poetry competition of the Society of Anthropology and Humanism (USA), a book Translating Kali’s Feast: the Goddess in Indo-Caribbean Ritual and Fiction (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000), and two documentary films, Hail Mother Kali (1988) and Kali in the Americas (2003). In 2000, he served as judge for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. In 1991, he returned to his native island as a member of the founding faculty of the University of Cyprus where he is Professor of Comparative Literature and currently Dean of Humanities. He lives in Nicosia with his wife Kathy and daughter Katerina. His book of poetry Blue Moon in Rajasthan and Other Poems appeared in 2005 (Kochlias Publications). Read the interview in two-parts by Adrian Grima here.


Ned Thomas (Wales) is Academic Director of the Mercator. He plays a prominent role in the activities of international committees on language and culture, and helped draft the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights. His earlier career was divided between publishing, journalism, and at the University of Wales, University of Salamanca, Moscow State University, and most recently at EHESS in Paris. As well as publishing extensively in the field of European minority languages, he is the author of critical studies of George Orwell, Derek Walcott, and Waldo Williams. In Wales Thomas is known as founder-editor and publisher of the magazine Planet—The Welsh Internationalist and as director for eight years of the University of Wales Press, the academic publishing house based in Cardiff. His The Welsh Extremist—A Culture in Crisis achieved some success in putting the case for Welsh language rights to a wide audience during the 1970s. He is Chair of Dyddiol Cyf, a company recently set up to establish the first Welsh-language daily newspaper.


Ewa Wojciechowska (1979) has been working for the Book Institute (Poland) since 2002. She studied Swedish filology at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, specializing in translation theory. In the Book Institute, she is responsible for literary programmes promoting Polish literature abroad (Polish Year in Sweden, Ukraine, Germany and many others) and for the coordination of the Translation Programme (C) Program. She has also worked on numerous literary festivals in Poland, most recently the extremely successful presentation of Ukrainian literature.


Karsten Xuereb (Malta 1978) studied English literature and film adaptation at the University of Malta and has just finished reading for a Masters in European Cultural Policy and Management at the University of Warwick, UK, as a Chevening scholar, with a dissertation on European cultural policy and migration. Karsten has worked for more than 10 years on Maltese radio and TV, producing and presenting educational and cultural programmes. Since 2000 he has been involved with Inizjamed, coordinating and managing creative arts and development projects in association with artists from the Mediterranean and the UK and institutions including the EU, UNESCO and the British Council. He has also worked for the Maltese fair trade cooperative and START, an association of Maltese contemporary artists, and attended networking workshops in Barcelona, Brussels, Cyprus and Sardinia.

Inizjamed is an associated partner in the Literature Across Frontiers three-year project part-financed by the EU through the Culture 2000 programme and led by Mercator Centre, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK. Inizjamed’s main involvement in this multi-annual project is as follows:

Re-Visions – Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe is the first event organised by Inizjamed as part of  the Literature Across Frontiers programme of activities.

International events

Inizjamed will coordinate the participation of Maltese authors, translators and other book industry professionals in LAF events organised in other countries.


Inizjamed will co-organise one poetry translation workshop in Malta in 2006.

Participation in International Book Fairs

Inizjamed will participate in collective stands coordinated as part of the programme at agreed international book fairs.

Transcript – European Internet Review of Books and Writing

Inizjamed will contribute regularly to the internet review with items of interest including news, interviews, articles, short reviews and original writing in translation. Transcript on Maltese literature



Writers in Translation – English PEN

Biting your tongue: Globalised power and the international language (Eilish Gaffey)

Variant – a free arts and culture magazine

Malta on Laura Hird’s website

International PEN

Welsh Literature Abroad



Transcript – European Internet Review of Books and Writing

The Light and Darkness Inside Us – Laura Hird Interviewed for Re-Visions     Digitisation, Music and Publishing – Karsten Xuereb (New section added)

A two-part interview with Stephanos Stephanides by Adrian Grima

Marroca u Rakkonti Oħra and the Fate of Translation: Toni Aquilina

Bilingual – and glad of it – Maria Grech Ganado

Maria’s Balancing Wor(l)ds – Sandra Aqulina

Strengthening the Competitiveness of the EU Publishing Sector (Sept. 2005)

Welche kulturelle Besonderheiten können die Mittel- und Ost-Europäischen Länder in die neue Europa mitbringen? – Éva Karádi


The Basque Literary System at the Gateway to the New Millennium – Mari Jose Olaziregi

A Brief History of Basque Literature

The Awakening of Basque Literature – Mari Jose Olaziregi

Litteraturen og det Etiske – Stig Sæterbakken

Enda flere notater (selvbiografiske) – Stig Sæterbakken


Symposium on the International Promotion of Literature

Friday 4 – Saturday 5 November, St. James Cavalier Theatre

25 writers, literary translators, publishers, editors, organizers of literary festivals and representatives of literature organisations from 16 European countries will be meeting in Malta to discuss the international promotion of literature with their Maltese counterparts and with the Maltese public in general on Friday 4 November (2pm – 8.30pm) and Saturday 5 November (9.00am – 7.45pm) at St. James Cavalier in Valletta. Entrance to all events is free of charge.

There will also be a programme of three reading events with the participation of visiting and local writers: on Friday 4th November at 7.30pm at St. James Cavalier; on Saturday 5th November at 6.45pm at Casa Rocca Piccola (74, Republic Street, Valletta); and during a day tour of Malta on Sunday, 6th November.

Building on past conferences and gatherings organised by Literature Across Frontiers, the Malta symposium will create a forum for discussion of: policies, practices and structures that encourage and enable circulation of literary works and mobility of writers; representation of small-language literatures on the international scene and obstacles to their greater dissemination; promotion of literature and the work of literature and translation centres; networking, exchange and cooperation – exemplary projects; vehicles for publishing literature in translation; public support for literary exchange and translation (including EU); and possible future cooperations and exchanges. Literature Across Frontiers is funded by Culture 2000 for a second three-year period (2005-08).

“Literature in translation is part of a multimillion publishing industry, yet it often cannot exist without subsidy and concentrated promotional effort on the part of non-commercial cultural organisations. Instead of diversity, globalisation has paradoxically brought greater homogeneity to the international book market, and programmes such as Literature Across Frontiers can help counter this trend,” says Alexandra Büchler, Director of the LAF programme.

The title of the symposium, Re-Visions – Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe, calls attention to the fact that this meeting is concerned both with the individual visions of the separate countries, but also the revisions which can result from literary exchange in an enlarged Europe. “With the European Union,” says Maria Grech Ganado of Inizjamed, “the literatures of the countries which belong to the Union are called into a new relationship which is bound to act, modify, stimulate, change, etc., and be affected by the enlargement and the interchange of culture. As a result many of the tenets of literature are bound to be revised within this new context, and the new literature be influenced by this revision.”

Some of the foreign speakers at the symposium include Basque writer and academic, Mari Jose Olaziregi; Scottish writer and cultural activist Laura Hird; the poet, translator, and editor Krzysztof Czyzewski from Poland; writer Tristan Hughes and editor Gwen Davies from Wales; prose writer Nora Ikstena from Latvia; the Chilean-born essayist, poet and short story writer Rubén Palma from Denmark; and Ewa Wojciechowska from the Book Institute in Poland.

The keynote speeches will be delivered by Ned Thomas, Academic Director of the Mercator Centre at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, which runs LAF, and Dr. Adrian Grima, poet, academic and coordinator of Inizjamed. The other Maltese speakers are Dr. Gorg Mallia, president of the Book Council of Malta, Immanuel Mifsud, Marika Grech, Karsten Xuereb, and Dr. Chris Gruppetta.

Re-Visions – Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe, will be held in English and is being organised by Literature Across Frontiers and Inizjamed with support from the Culture 2000 Programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment (Malta), The British Council, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Malta), Farsons Foundation, Casa Rocca Piccola, and the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.

The full programme is online at For more information write to

Symposium on the International Promotion of Literature

25 writers, literary translators, publishers, editors, organizers of literary festivals and representatives of literature organisations from 16 European countries will be meeting in Malta to discuss the international promotion of literature with their Maltese counterparts and with the Maltese public in general on Friday 4 November (2pm – 8.30pm) and Saturday 5 November (9.00am – 7.45pm) at St. James Cavalier in Valletta. Entrance to all events, including readings by twenty local and foreign writers, is free of charge.

Re-Visions – Literary Exchange in an Enlarged Europe, is being organised by Literature Across Frontiers and Inizjamed with support from the Culture 2000 Programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment (Malta), The British Council, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Malta), and the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.

The full programme is online at For more information write to